Chapter 8—Lust Prima Vista

Fate is an elegant, cold hearted whore

She loves salting my wounds

Yeah she enjoys nothing more

Mrs. Dumas my journalism teacher called last Friday to confirm that Logan and I would not be attending today's fieldtrip. That was of course after I proved that shareholders from the boatloads of fun group had bribed a lab tech into making sure their children got the starting spots on all Neptune's sporting leagues. Meg and Wallace had both called to thank me this weekend, but now I can't help but feel bad that I'm missing a trip to sharks stadium. This whole taking one for the team thing sucks.

Logan seems to love it; he stays in bed all day, or sits around playing video games. Suddenly my cell phone starts playing 'just another girl' By Pete Yorn, Its mine and Duncan's song from when we were together and I never changed it. I debate on answering the phone to hear how GREAT the field trip was, but bragging isn't really Duncan's thing so I answer.

"Veronica…The bus…the cliff…dead" that is the only thing I can understand as Duncan's panicked voice comes through my phone. "Duncan, I need you to calm down and tell me what happened." I hear him take a deep breath and push his panic aside for a moment.

"A bunch of us got a Limo because the bus smelled, and Meg refused to get on saying that it wasn't fair to everyone else. As we were heading back though, something happened and the bus just drove off the cliff, Meg was on that bus Ronnie, my Meg." I can hear the desperation in his voice as he tells her what happened. "I don't want to be alone can you come to the hospital?"

"I'll be right there." Logan is in a meeting with his lawyer so I leave him a note and head off towards Neptune Memorial.

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"How is she?" I know it isn't exactly a good question in this situation but there isn't really anything to say. "She stabilized but is in a coma."

I pull him into a hug, as her parents walk into the room and her father clears his throat, his eyes shoot me with daggers. "We need to talk to Duncan…Alone." I quickly leave telling Duncan that I'll go to the waiting room and He shakes his head asking me to call Logan.

As I Sit in the waiting room I take my phone out. Logan's still with his lawyer so his voicemail picks up 'Logan's inspirational quote of the day, Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too. –Voltaire'

"Hey, there was an accident; Meg's in the hospital get here as soon as you can." I sit in the waiting room until Logan get's here. "How is she?"

"She was in a coma about an hour ago, Duncan's holding it together the best he can." I haven't been able to find Duncan since Meg's parents took him away and I'm worried about him. The Manning's are very intimidating people. And they hate me, because of all the horrible stories I'm sure Celeste has told. Like it or not though, Meg is my friend and I'm not leaving.

Duncan finally comes in, sitting next to us silently. Logan pats his arm as away to comfort him. "She's pregnant", I think we are all a bit shocked by his comment. Meg Manning is the same girl that couldn't walk through school when she people thought she had done more than kiss. Meg was pregnant. I guess it makes sense, she had slowly changed over the last year, and I'm sure the things that once upset her rarely fazed her now. "I have to choose, she might die if I don't let them end the pregnancy, but it's my child."

I see a tear roll down his cheek, and the sight of him so broken makes me want to cry. Duncan has to choose between his girlfriend and his child. We all know in the end he will choose Meg, but right now, he needs to process the fact that he has a child.

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"Veronica" Lilly says as I sit on Logan's bed.

"Lil, what are you doing here?"

"I'm watching over Duncan today, I made sure he got off the bus, Meg wouldn't though. It isn't time for either of them to leave me, however my little Niece will be soon. Can you imagine me and aunt?" I smile slightly at the thought of Duncan's child being a girl, and Lilly being an aunt. Then the sadness hits me, as it always does. Lilly died, my dad was fired, my mother left, I was raped or so I thought, Aaron escaped, a bus ran off a cliff, and Duncan's baby has to die in order to give Meg a chance to live.

"I miss you, Life was easier back then."

"Veronica, Life wasn't easier, we were just young and blissfully naïve. The problems were always there, Aaron still hit Logan, your mom still drank, and Celeste was still conniving, the only thing that changed is you got tougher, and quit looking the other way as injustices happened."

"I had to get tougher; I had to look out for myself."

"Yeah, and you did a good job of it, but I have to go Veronica, Keep an eye on my brother."

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I woke up in Logan's arms and it was comforting. I could feel his chest pounding against my back and even in the bliss of morning I couldn't help but think of all the things the three of us had endured throughout the last two years. Lilly had been right to say her death wasn't the start though because it wasn't, I had just overlooked the bad before. The old me had been naive enough to think somebody else would solve the problems, now I know I have to.

Sadness suddenly takes hold of me and I roll over to face Logan, holding onto him like he will slip away if I let go or loosen my grip. I know he wakes up because his arm tightens against my back and his hand incoherently plays with my hair. Neither of us speaks, but I know he can tell how scared I am, and I know he wishes he could protect me. What would he be protecting me from though?

It's only 6am when my father calls to tell me that he just found Aaron trying to jump the border. Apparently Logan had found out where he was and kept it from me. He told me he was proposing to Alicia tonight, and that I should go to school.

Of course school is filled with reporters most of whom want to blame Logan and I for the crash, and the rest blaming my father for letting the man off the hook without a DUI. The fact that my father knew him makes me feel horrible when I tell the man's daughter that I won't help her prove her dad's innocents. It's easier than thinking Aaron had something to do with it, that Logan and I were the intended targets. Then Madison comes in the bathroom though with her snide comments about murderers and the girl throws a punch, I remember suddenly what it feels like to be her. I was her, everyone had turned their back on me, mocked me, said rude comments as they passed, and suddenly I had to help her, so I said I would meet her after school. She gives me her address and I head off to class.

I can't help but smile as I see Logan taking over the editor's position for Duncan. He looks so cute when he is being all official and stuff, especially as he leans over a desk checking the final copy of tomorrow's paper, and looks up with a smile. I know he loves this class, unlike a few of the people it was never about being a blow off class for him, he truly loves it. I think it give's him hope that people do care more about pertinent news than who his father slept with. Not that he really cares about his father's reputation, but he blames the tabloids for his mother's suicide, along with his father's threats.

Duncan didn't show up today, not that it was expected, I was kind of glad because that meant that I could put off telling him I was helping Jessie by investigating the car crash. He will undoubtedly be upset but I would much rather him hear it from me than somebody else. I figure Jessie needs some comfort right now though, and I can deal with Duncan Later.

Logan refused to let me help Jessie alone. He has the whole 'we're a team' Mantra stuck in his head, and as much I love him he tends to get in the way more than he helps. I somehow doubt he can go off the edge on this case.

When we get to the apartment complex that Jessie lives in Logan's X-terra sticks out more than usual. Especially when you consider the fact that Jess's apartment is a bit more rundown than mine and dads. We walk up to meet Jess and her mom, just in time to see Lamb come in with a search warrant. I pull jess out the door just in time to stop Jess from kneeing him in the balls, not that it wasn't something I had considered doing on more than one occasion. She silently followed me to the car and got in before asking where we were going. "Towards truck stop 15, we are going to see the memorial." Logan nodded as Jess simply laid her back against the seat.

Logan knew what it was like to lose a parent, as did I so neither of us were surprised as the tears came to her eyes in the realization that nobody had made a shrine for her father. She fell to the ground in tears before either of us could catch her. "He died to, but nobody morns the bad guy." Her word's hit me like a bucket of ice; I had felt the same when my father was fired, and I had wanted to prove that he wasn't the evil man people had said he was.

I cradled her as she cried, slowly getting her back to the car. I am glad that Logan had come now, because driving and consoling could only end up badly. As we pullback into the Apartment complex I made a promise to find the truth, and invited her to eat lunch with us tomorrow.

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"Alicia Marie Fennel, will you be my wife?" I sat with Logan and Wallace watching my dad propose. The look in Alicia's eyes was that of shock and then happiness as she accepted. Logan whispered an 'I love you' into my ear as he squeezed my hand. If only this moment wasn't shadowed by so many bad moments in my life. I am happy for my dad, I want nothing more than for him to be happy, but at the same time I realize that things will never be the same.

They had decided to move into Alicia's house because it was more spacious, and that way dad could help pay for a wedding and save some money to send me to college. I am trying to be happy about it, but it's so hard to accept that my life is about to drastically change.

As Logan walks me to the car the shock, becomes even bigger, "move in with me."